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‘Semiramis’ – a modern depiction of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. In charge of fertility, sex, and war, Inanna was one of the most violent goddessess of the ancient world.

Girls Gone Wild: World Mythology’s Most Sexualized, Crazed, and Furiously Violent Goddesses

Myths, legends, and religions tell of gods and goddesses exemplifying all that is good and right in the world. And there are just as many who represent our deepest archetypal sexual desires, taboos,...
Mayan Gods

How Many Maya Gods Were Worshipped? Hint: There Were Hundreds!

The Maya were a polytheistic people who believed in a multitude of gods and goddesses. The deities of the Maya pantheon governed every aspect of nature and human life and were quite complex...
 Women shaman of Ireland in trance - magic rotates the leaves.

Ancient Women Shaman of Ireland: Goddesses of Prophecy and Omens

The Celtic scholar Nora Chadwick notes that in Irish mythology the prophetess Fedelm tells Queen Medb that she has been in the land of Alba learning the art of the Filidect. Medb asks if she has...
Gothic queen in red dress doing magic

Ancient Women Shaman of Ireland: Healers, Priestesses and Diviners

All around the world many of the oldest ceremonial megalithic sites are associated with women shaman and oracular tradition and prophecy. A good example of this is Napta Playa which was linked to...
‘The Nine Muses - Terpsichore (Dance) (1782) by Johann Heinrich Tischbein.

Terpsichore: The Muse of Dance Who Moved in Time with the Rhythm of the Cosmos

In ancient Greece, nine goddesses were believed to rule over all the major literary and artistic spheres. They were called the Muses. The Muse ruling dance and choral music was Terpsichore. In...
Mazu: Legendary Guardian

Mazu: Legendary Guardian of the Chinese Seas and Social Media Marvel

Princess of Supernatural Favor, Empress of Heaven, Goddess of the South China Sea - these are just a few of the illustrious titles given to the Chinese goddess Mazu (Mat-su) since her incursion into...
Asherah - Veiled Mother of the World

Asherah: God’s Forgotten Wife

Those raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition may be surprised to learn that the god we were told was singularly sacred once had a wife. How do we know? Asherah figures prominently as the wife of El—...
Detail of Tiamat.

Tiamat: Mesopotamian Mother Goddess and the Key Component in Creation

Tiamat is an ambiguous deity who played an important role in the creation myth of ancient Mesopotamia. She was their personification of the primordial sea, from which the first generation of gods...
A Huastec Tlazolteotl statue, the British Museum. (The Trustees of the British Museum/CC BY NC SA 4.0) Background: Aztec iconography. (CC0)

Tlazolteotl: An Ancient Patroness and Purifier for all things Filthy

Tlazolteotl was an earth goddess in the pantheon of the Aztecs, although her area of influence is a little wider and more unusual than some goddesses of the earth and fertility. Filth was her domain...
Xochiquetzal, with flower (Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, page 29)

Xochiquetzal: Aztec Goddess of Beauty, Pleasure and Love… But Don’t Mess With Her!

According to the Aztecs, Xochiquetzal was the goddess of beauty, pleasure, and love. She is commonly associated with such beautiful things as flowers, plants, song and dance, which is quite distinct...
Chalchiuhtlicue final model.

Navigating the Realm of an Aztec Water Goddess and One of the Five Suns

The Aztecs placed an array of important life elements in the hands of Chalchiuhtlicue. She was primarily a goddess of freshwater, thus her domain included lakes, rivers, and streams. But she also...
Paleolithic Venus figures

The Ideal Woman’s Body – a Gift of the Gods?

We all know what the perfect woman’s body looks like. Or do we? Is it Kim Kardashian, with her popular ‘internet-breaking’ big behind, or Marilyn Monroe with her voluptuous movie curves? Is it a...
Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal: The Mighty Mesopotamian Goddess of the Underworld

“Namtar made his voice heard and spake, addressed his words to Ereshkigal, "Send me to Anu your father, and let me arrest the god! Let me take him to you, that he may kiss you again!" - Excerpt from...
Modern representation of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.

Bellona: The Roman Goddess of War and Artistic Muse

Linked to war, destruction, conquest, and bloodlust, Bellona was a mighty figure in the ancient Roman pantheon of gods. As a personification of war, Bellona became quite a popular figure in the arts...
Detail from the side of a seat of a group sculpture shows a baboon holding a cosmetic pot or kohl eyeliner; design by Anand Balaji

Primates of Ancient Egypt: The Bizarre and Satirical Monkeys of Amarna—Part II

Baboons and monkeys were an inalienable part of the religious and artistic landscape in ancient Egypt. A wealth of depictions of these animals exists in varied media spanning all dynasties. But it is...
Detail from one of the canopic jars of Padiouf, a priest of Amun, shows the face of the god Hapy; design by Anand Balaj

Primates of Ancient Egypt: The Deification and Importance of Baboons and Monkeys—Part I

The ancient Egyptians populated their vast pantheon of gods and goddesses with an incredible menagerie of animals and birds. These deities served as protectors, law-givers, healers, patrons of the...

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